Matt Tifft and Front Row Motorsports have agreed to part ways for the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season. On Wednesday, Tifft announced he would be unable to run the full 2020 schedule as he continues to recover from his health troubles. As part of the process, he will not return to FRM’s #36 Ford Mustang.
“I’ve made the decision to focus on my health and there is no rush or timetable to get back behind the wheel,” he said. “Because of that, I can’t commit to racing full-time in 2020. I can’t say when I’ll be ready to race again, but I believe I will come back. I love this sport, the people, and I would like to be a part of it next year in some capacity.”
In late October, Tifft was ruled out for the remainder of the 2019 season after suffering a seizure prior to the First Data 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Matt Crafton replaced him in the #36 for the race, while John Hunter Nemechek has filled in for the final three races. At the time of the seizure, he was thirtieth in points with a top-ten finish at Daytona International Speedway in July; it was his rookie year in NASCAR’s top level.
Tifft has struggled with health issues throughout his career. In 2016, while competing part-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, he was forced to sit out a number of races when complications from a brain tumour surfaced.
“Matt has always shown us a lot of determination and courage,” FRM owner Bob Jenkins added. “He’s a fighter and I believe, like him, that he’ll return to driving. For now, we support Matt and his need to focus on his health and his family. Racing will be there when it’s time. We want to thank Matt and his family for being a part of Front Row Motorsports and helping us continue to grow.”
A replacement in the #36 has not been announced.
On Twitter, FRM team-mate Michael McDowell posted, “Thank you @matt_tifft for all you have done. Your story isn’t over yet. We will see you back on track again. Praying for your time and health.”